FAU Football fell in their final non-conference game, 56-36 to No. 16 UCF at Spectrum Stadium on Friday night.
“First off, that’s a really good team,” said Head Coach Lane Kiffin of UCF."
“The most important player is always your quarterback, and they’ve got a really good quarterback that makes a lot of really good decisions and makes a lot of out-of-rhythm plays."
"Hats off to them for playing really well, and we helped them. Three turnovers to none, you’re not going to be a good team like that obviously.”
Another road contest is in store next for the Owls, the team’s 2018 Conference USA opener, against Middle Tennessee.
The matchup emanates from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.
- The Knights (3-0) won the coin toss, but deferred until the second half. Kerrith Whyte took the opening kickoff 31 yards, his longest of the year so far
- Four plays later, a UCF interception ended the drive, and it was returned all the way to the FAU 22
- It took the Knights four plays to score, capped by a 12-yard run by McKenzie Milton
- The Owls (2-2) were halted on their next series, and on 4th down, quarterback Chris Robison punted and recorded the longest FAU punt of the year, 58 yards, to the UCF 8
- However, the Knights would then put together a 10-play drive to extend their lead to 14-0 midway through the 1st
- The teams exchanged punts, with FAU receiving the latter with 4:45 to go in the opening period, and on 4th-and-4, a fake punt snapped directly to Gerald Hearns went for 24 yards and the Owls’ first 1st down
- A rushing first down, and penalty later for another, brought the Owls within the red zone, and an 11-yard touchdown by Devin Singletary halved the deficit to 14-7 just before the quarter ended. That marked Singletary’s 17th straight game with a rushing touchdown
- Into the 2nd, the Owls forced another Knights punt and put together a sustained drive, including a 19-yard run by Singletary, an 11-yard pass on 4th down from Robison to Willie Wright, and a Robison 16-yard run to take it to the UCF 9
- On the very next play, Singletary (photo) bounced outside to the left and took it in for his second score of the night to tie things at 14-14
- That made for his 53rd career rushing touchdown, ranking him among the 25 best all-time in FBS history (at this point tying him for 23rd)
- FAU made it 17 unanswered, and took the lead, on a 32-yard field goal by Vladimir Rivas with 1:34 to go in the first half
- The Knights quickly answered with a 5-play, 78-yard drive and a touchdown, taking 1:03 off the clock and moving back ahead, 21-17 just before the break
- At the half, Azeez Al-Shaair had six tackles, two solo. His four assists pushed him ahead of former Owl linebacker Andrae Kirk for the program’s all-time record
- UCF was successful on their first drive in the second half as well, and after a punt, notched another score (both on Milton runs) to move their lead to 35-17
- FAU cut it back down to two scores as Robison found Whyte on a 23-yard catch and score late in the 3rd. Though the two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, the UCF lead was trimmed to 35-23
- It was then extended back out to 42-23 on Milton’s third touchdown pass of the night
- Singletary got up and over the century mark on the ground on the Owls’ first drive of the 4th, for the first time on the young season and 17th time in his career
- He would cap the drive with his third touchdown of the night (and 10th of the season). Again the two-point conversion was turned away, so the score became 42-29
- UCF shaved 5:54 off the clock and scored with just over three minutes left, and had a pick-6 on the ensuing possession
- Whyte had the Owls’ longest play from scrimmage, a 40-yard score, making for the final margin. After his first career 100-yard rushing game last week, he ended Friday with 84 yards on the ground on just nine carries, the 23-yard reception, and had 157 yards on six kick returns for an all-purpose yardage total of 264
- Singletary led the way with 131 yards rushing on 25 carries, and after Whyte came Hearns with 53 (on three carries) and Robison with 34
- Leading the receiving corps was Wright with six catches and 58 yards. Jovon Durante added four receptions covering 35 yards
- Al-Shaair reached double digits in tackles for the 23rd time, leading the Owls with 15, one shy of a career best. Rashad Smith was next with nine, including the first sack by a UCF opposing defender this year
FAU Football vs #16 UCF Box Score - FAU Owl's Nest